Conflicts of interest
What is a conflict of interest?
A conflict of interest could be defined as any situation in which an individual’s personal interests or responsibilities may, or may appear to, influence their decision-making.
Why is it important to manage conflicts of interest?
Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group (Barnet CCG) is a GP-led organisation responsible for planning and buying (commissioning) health services for people living in the London borough of Barnet.
We are a membership organisation made up of 60 GP practices serving a registered patient population of around 370,000. Our role is to ensure that residents and those registered with GPs in Barnet have access to the healthcare services they need. We work with the people of Barnet to provide high quality services and improve the health and wellbeing of the local population. In addition, it holds the healthcare providers to account to ensure that they provide the services that the CCG has paid for.
Therefore, is important to manage conflicts of interest to:
- Protect the integrity of the CCG’s decision making processes and decisions
- Avoid improper influence and prevent fraud
- Ensure decisions are legal and can be defended in the case of a legal challenge
- Fulfil its duty to look after public money
- Ensure honesty, fairness, transparency and equality in the way we spend money
- Ensure our patients receive the best possible care.
How does Barnet CCG manage conflicts of interest?
Barnet CCG takes its responsibility to manage conflicts of interest seriously and has a Conflict of Interest Policy.
What does the policy require individuals to do?
The Policy sets out how Barnet CCG Governing Body members, officers, staff, members and clinical leads should behave in their role at Barnet CCG. It also sets out the steps and measures that Barnet CCG takes to manage conflicts of interest. An example of this is that the Policy requires those people referred to above to declare any and all interests which may be, or may lead to, a conflict of interest.
Common types of conflicts of interest
The most common types of conflicts of interest include:
- Direct financial interests;
- Indirect financial interests;
- Non-financial personal interests;
- Conflicts of loyalty.
What happens when a conflict of interest is identified?
When a conflict of interest is identified it should always be disclosed, as openness and transparency allows for conflicts and potential conflicts of interest to be assessed and managed. This includes publishing all conflicts of interest.
In most instances the individual with a conflict of interest will be removed from decision making on that particular issue. In the rare instance that this is not possible, the CCG manages the risk of improper or undue influence carefully. This includes documenting how the conflict of interest has been assessed, controlled and managed.
CCG staff members are also required to tell their line manager and governance team about any conflict of interest they have or think they may have.
Where can I find Barnet CCG’s conflicts of interest information?
We are required to publish all conflicts of interests, available in the downloads section.
If you have any questions about our Conflicts of Interest Policy please email Andrew Tillbrook, Board Secretary, at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org